Making a Case for Hanging Out  

hanging out dating

That’s right, I’d like to make a case for hanging out.


Now before you gather the pitchforks, light a young woman torch and come to the ‘that’ part of Provo you know you’ll find me…hear me out.


I’m not saying don’t date.


I’m just saying that ‘hanging out’ has unjustly become a curse word(…or phrase).


Yes, Elder Tingey spoke of “the indecision some college graduates have in…accepting the responsibilities of marriage and family.”


Yes President Monson spoke of those having “a little too much fun being single, taking extravagant vacations, buying expensive cars and toys, and just generally enjoying the carefree life with [their] friends.”


Yes, Elder Oaks spoke to older single men (me, particularly), “grow up. Gather your courage and look for someone to pair off with. Start with a variety of dates with a variety of young women, and when that phase yields a good prospect, proceed to courtship. It’s marriage time.”


So yeah, fellas, we need to buck up and go on dates. I completely agree with all of that.


But we need to go on dates for the right reasons.


You can go on dates just to ‘go on dates.’ I have done that for years and the reason that the relationship clock never struck “marriage time” isn’t for lack of effort. No, perhaps it was because of too much effort.


See, when we date, we are trying to be the best we can be and, quite frankly, we are trying to find the worst in the other person.


Yes, dating is essentially trying to impress while looking for deal breakers.


When we hang out, things are usually calm, ccasualand, quite frankly, a little more realistic. I have never been married, but I imagine that a dinner, movie and making out is not the standard for a typical day for a couple. Those romantic date nights are interspersed through a string of time where the couple is just friends.


Some of the best relationships I have had started with a friendship.


Those friendships were not forged in the fires of flirtation, but rather built on the basis of a casual closeness.

When in hot pursuit, you rarely are being totally you, but rather what you think they want of you.


When hanging out, there are no expectations, so you can just be you and she can just be her.


If you aren’t going on dates, shame on you—but if you aren’t building friendships then shame-er on you. The advice is to get married and you will never do that by only hanging out or only going on one-on-one dates with 15 people at a time.


So don’t fear the dessert parties of hanging out, but be aware to not deny yourself of the hearty dinners of dating. Both, coupled (pun intended) together will create a strong bond that will both be in harmony with the brethren’s council and help you to not try too hard.





11 thoughts on “Making a Case for Hanging Out  

  1. Now for my discovery about dating—nothing has changed really. And it’s precisely because you haven’t changed. You see the principle is that the structure is perfectly designed to get the results it gets. Let me illustrate this principle. Take this potato peeler—which you have to be familiar with here in Rexburg! See how it works. It is perfectly designed to get these results! Even this little point is designed perfectly to remove the eyes of the potatoes and look at these results. So in order to get results or dates here on this campus or any campus or anywhere there are young single adults, you have to redesign the structure for the intended results. And of course that means you must determine, and I mean seriously determine just what results you really want—really! So instead of talking to you about marriage and family, I am going to start on a more elementary level. Let’s just focus on getting dates. Dates for the purpose, of course, of finding an eternal companion, but let’s do first things first! Because you certainly can’t marry, and become parents of a beautiful family, unless you actually go on a date (probably a lot of dates). So let’s start there. I am going to suggest a structure change.

    Young women—stop hanging out. Stop competing with each other in a group for the attention of the available men in the room. Make yourself scarce. The boys won’t notice for a while and they’ll keep hanging out and then all of a sudden they’ll say—“Hey where are the girls?” Then they will huddle and brainstorm about whom to text to come and join them. When the text comes, don’t go join them—just text back: “Busy tonight.”

    Then wait till they call you and personally ask you to go on a date with them. Not to hang out or congregate with a lot of others, just the two of you and perhaps one other couple—on a date. According to Elder Dallin H. Oaks, this is what this means, “Hanging out consists of numbers of young men and young women joining together in some group activity. It is very different from dating…Dating is pairing off to experience the kind of one-on-one association and temporary commitment that can lead to marriage in some rare and treasured cases.”12 So young men, make an investment with your wallets, in your future. Seriously begin your search for an eternal companion. You are so valiant and good that I know the Lord will enlighten you just like he did the Brother of Jared when he moved him out of his comfort zone on the beach (see Ether 2:14). And, don’t look for perfection. Perfection is a journey—my husband is still working on me about that! But instead look for purity. We can’t be perfect right now, but we can all be perfectly pure.

    -Elaine S. Dalton

  2. “When we date, we are trying to be the best we can be and, quite frankly, we are trying to find the worst in the others… is essentially trying to impress while looking for deal breakers.”

    At first, I was like, “WOAH that is so true. A-HA.” And then I realized rather than hoping that hanging out more/dating less could help me this this issue, I’d rather figure out how to make dating more effective and less vicious. How about maintaining the structure of courtship with the approach of friendship? Yeah, observe and make smart decisions for yourself. But to constantly judge and feel judged is a horrible way to start a relationship in which you hope to constantly love and feel loved.

          1. I was definitely skimming, because I didn’t catch anything about anyone named “Jerome” in there. But I’ll ask him.

            Hey Jerome, how long did you have to hang out with your wife before you got married? (asking for a friend)

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